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Former Baseball: UL catcher Lucroy to attend State of the Union address

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Jan. 20, 2015

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers Photo Day

Jonathan Lucroy(Photo: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

Former UL and current Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy has headed to Washington, D.C. — not to play for the Nationals, but instead to experience a national tradition.

Lucroy will attend Tuesday night’s State of the Union address to Congress by President Barack Obama.

He will do so as the guest of Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin.

“Mr. Lucroy, the All-Star catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, has become a hero to Wisconsin sports fans with his excellent performance on the field,” Johnson said in a statement on his website. “But to me, he is an even bigger hero off the field: He is using his baseball fame to highlight some great Wisconsin charities.”

Lucroy is a supporter of Fisher House Wisconsin, a home away from home for the families of veterans receiving care at the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee.

He’s visited veterans hospitals around the country, provided $5,000 scholarships to military families, regularly visits patients at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and works with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and with the Miracle League of Milwaukee.

Last November, after the Brewers’ season had concluded, the ex-Cajun traveled with veterans on an Honor Flight to visit the World War II and Korean War memorials in Washington.

“I am honored that Senator Johnson has asked me to be his guest at the State of the Union,” Lucroy said, according to Johnson’s website. “We both share a passion for veterans and serving those who serve us, and I am looking forward to the privilege of being in our nation’s capital for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The address, usually delivered annually, has historically fulfilled a U.S. Constitution mandate that the President “shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

According to MLB.com, Lucroy “said he leans conservative” but “has little desire to get into politics when his baseball career comes to an end.”

Lucroy, a Florida native and a product of Florida’s Umatilla High, played three seasons at UL from 2005-07 and remains the school’s career record-holder in both doubles with 54 and RBI with 184.

He was selected in the third round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Brewers, made his Major League debut with Milwaukee in 2010 and was named an All-Star for the first time in 2014.

Lucroy set an MLB record for doubles in a single season by a catcher last year, when he had 53, hit .301 in 153 games and won a Fielding Bible Award as best defensive catcher according to statistical analysis.

Lucroy, his wife Sarah and their daughter Ella make their offseason home in Lafayette.

He remains close to the UL baseball program, and spent time earlier this month working out at the program’s indoor practice facility.